Hence, the need for relaxation Yoga to handle stress in children and teenagers. Actually, we aren’t aware of it, but ever since birth a child is put through stress. True, there are times of relaxation too, but that’s mostly confined to hours of sleep.
The kind of relaxation we get at recreation hardly amounts to much. This is because most of our modern day recreational activities are not soothing, gentle or comforting. Quite the contrary, in fact they most often leave us more agitated than before we began.
What a stressful situation it is. Emerging from the cozy comforts of the silent, ocean-like womb into the noisy, raucous world of screaming doctors, nurses and interns, the smell of formaldehyde and ethyl, being handed from person to person and worst still, being turned upside down and spanked – howsoever gently – on a bare, tender bottom. If that isn’t stress in itself.
The stress never ceases. And we don’t have to elucidate the occasions and instances. The point is how to cope with the stress. Yoga provides the answer. Relaxation Yoga for managing stress in children and teenagers has proven highly effective; however, only if done on a regular basis. Start them on warm-ups and Surya Namaskar. Then put them on to asanas in the following categories:
- Standing poses
- Sitting poses
- Supine poses
- Prone poses
- Inverted poses
- Balancing poses
Also remember to do lots and lots of Dirga Pranayama – that is slow, Yogic breathing.
Dirga Pranayama is called the three part breath because you are actively breathing into three parts of your abdomen. The first position is the low belly (on top of or just below the belly button), the second position is the low chest (lower half of the rib cage), and the third position is the low throat (just above the top of the sternum). The breath is continuous, inhaled and exhaled through the nose. The inhalation starts in the first position, the low belly; then moves to the second position, the low chest; then to the third position, the low throat. The exhalation starts in the low throat, moves to the low chest, and finishes in the low belly.
Then progress to Kapalbhati Pranayama.
In Kapalbhati Pranayama, the inhalation is slow and passive and require only releasing tension in the abdominal wall. On the other hand, the exhalation is active, sharp and vigorous. Normally exhalation takes one fourth of the time of inhalation. Quick exhalation and natural inhalation follows each other.
The breathing exercise activates and invigorates the liver, spleen and the abdominal muscles. It balances and strengthens the nervous system, tones the digestive organs and improves digestion. It develops strength and stamina and it teaches to coordinate the abdominal muscles.
Finally teach them meditation on the breath. It is also important to teach kids and teenagers the importance of a Yogic Diet. Junk food can play havoc with your stomach and your health and subsequently your well-being. Remember the maxim, “Happy mind in a body “ and abide by it. Look how they’ll be able to cope with stress of their own accord.